Cairo-Sharm el-Sheikh tourists’ trips canceled after protests block road
Tour organizers said Sunday that 27 tours were unable to travel due to protests that erupted in South Sinai on Saturday.
Around 900 tourists were scheduled to travel from Sharm el-Sheikh to Cairo to visit tourist destinations there, according to officials in tourist companies.
On Saturday, residents of Tor blocked the road from Sharm el-Sheikh to Cairo road in protest of security failures. Security ambushes in Nuweiba and Dahab also stopped several tourist buses for four hours due to a shooting in Nuweiba. Tourism police banned Safari trips in the Wadiyan area without local Bedouin guides.
Walid Atteya, a head of a tourism agency, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that tourists whose trips were canceled were given a bad impression of tourism in Egypt. He added that tourism agencies and the state will suffer losses due to canceling the trips.
Ahmed Fayed, the owner of another agency, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that tourism was affected by Israeli warnings that warned its citizens against traveling to Sinai on Thursday. Several agencies canceled their trips in Taba, Nuweiba, Saint Catherine and others.
Since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, security has weakened in Sinai. Groups of militant Islamists have spread across North Sinai, attacking police stations and a pipeline exporting gas to Israel and Jordan.
The peninsula also saw tourist kidnappings by tribesmen. The hostages are often released after less than a few hours of negotiations with authorities.
Bedouin have also attacked police stations, blocked access to towns and taken hostages to show their discontent with what they see as their poor treatment by authorities and to press for the release of jailed kinsmen.
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